MEET THE CELEBRITIES
We take a look at the star-studded cast of the new series of WDYTYA?
The days are getting longer and the weather’s warming up (if only slightly) and soon the nation’s thoughts will turn to strawberries and cream, lazy days on the beach and Wimbledon.W Yes, summer’s here and for us genealogistsli thath means justj one thinghi – theh new series of Who Do You Think You Are? is just around the corner! And this year it looks set to start in mid-August*.
So what’s in store this series? Well the celebrities won’t disappoint – there’s a great mix of names from a choirmaster to a fashion icon. On their family history odysseys this year, we’ll join actors Jane Seymour, Sir Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid, and Frances de la Tour; Paul Hollywood, judge on The Great
British Bake Off Gareth Malone, presenter of The Choir; former model and actor Jerry Hall; actor, screenwriter and novelist Mark Gatiss; journalist Frank Gardner; and
Countryfile presenter Anita Rani. Series producer Kathryn Taylor is very excited about this series and believes it will offer viewers something new: “Every series is different because each individual celebrity brings their own personalityy and take on life to the stories they unfold and discover. But this series has a lot of vaariety in it – and some very unusual stories. It spans a bigger historical timeframe and moree geography than other series – it takes us all around the world through a huge variiety of historical periods.
“There are certain ‘ bits of history’ the series can crash into quite regularly, becauseb of the availability of records in certainn periods, or fairly universal moments ofo social or economic change,” she says. “But in this series we have managed to uneearth some less-well-known stories, too.”
Indeed, this year there’s everything from Huguenots, hysteria and Victorian assylums to suicide, forgery and a Restoration bedroom farce, with – as we’ve come to expect from WDYTYA? – a whole heap of mysteries and some expert detective work.
So, join us as we tick off the days to the big family history revelations and fascinating stories of some of the UK’s topp celebrities.
Altogether noow – laaaaaah! Choirmaster GGareth’s musical talent haas given us The
Choir and several spin- ooffs in which child ren and adults fromm all walks of
life and abilities, com me together to sing g – often very mo ovingly. In 2012, he wwas awarded an OBE for his servic ces to music.
FRANCES ES DE LA TOUR
Who can forget Frances as Miss Jones, the unwilling love interest in 70s sitcom Rising
Damp? The awardwinning film, theatre and TV actress has become a favourite for a new generation as a headmistress in the Harry Potter movies and in BBC comedy Big School.
PAUL HOLLY YWOOD
With his expertise in bread making and his ability to spot a soggy bottomm at 100 paces, Paul is one half of the judginng panel for The
Great British Bake Offf and spin-spin offs for Sports Relief and Comic Relief. ( The other half is, of course, cookery legend Mary Berry, who featured in WDYTYA? last year). The son of a baker, Paul followed in his father’s (and grandfather’s) footsteps and after serving an apprenticeship, worked as head baker at some of the country’s top hotels. He has written extensively on baking and his TV show, Paul Hollywood’s Bread, has been the toast of the BBC BBC.
When Coronation Street’s Valerie Tatlock and Ken Barlow – the first of the soap opera super couples – tied the knot in 1962, the episode was watched by a whopping 15.8 million viewers. It was Anne Reid’s first big television role. Since then she has become a firm favourite with British audiences, serving up comedy treats as Jean in
Dinnerladies, exchanging words with Maureen Lipman in Ladies of Letters, and sashaying ( metaphorically, of course) into our living rooms alongside Sir Derek Jacobi in Last Tango in Halifax.
Sparkling as Bond girl Solitaire in
Live and Let Die in 1973 and later starring in a string of blockbuster movies, actor Jane Seymour’s big break was in the BBC’s The
Onedin Line. She now lives in LA and is a regular on US TV, having featured in some top series – most notably Dr Quinn,
Journalist and presenter Anita beggan her career as a researcher at the BBC.. She fronted several news and entertaiinment shows before working as a crickeet reporter on ChChannell 4 andd SkySk SSports. In 2008, she joined The One Show and co-presented Watchdog from 2009. Earlier this year, Anita donned her wellies and became
Countryfile’s newest recruit.
Currently the BBC’s Security Correspondent, Frank has won several awards including, in 2005, an OBE for his services to journalism. He joined the BBC in 1995. While reporting from Saudi Arabia in 2004, he was shot and paralysed. However, his injuries haven’t stopped him reporting from the field.
SIR DEREK K JACOBI
This legendary actor has been thrilling audiences with his peerformances on stage and screen for more than 50 years, takingtakig us to places frfrom ancient Rome (70s TV drama I, Claudius) to Halifax ( Last Tango in Halifax). Along the way he’s appeared in countless stage plays and won oodles of accolades. His film credits include Gosford Park, Nanny McPhee and The King’s Speech, but those of us with younger children will recognise his velvet tones from CBeebies’ In the Night Garden.
JER RRY HALL
‘Disco overed’ by a fashion agen nt while sunbathing in St Tropez, the actress and formerf model was famo ously with Rolling Ston nes frontman Mick Jagg ger for 20 years. She was briefly engaged to Brya an Ferry in the mid -70s, and by 1977 7 her face had grac ced the covers of ove r 40 magazines. Jerry y’s acting career inclu udes roles in Tim Bur rton’s Batman and som me high-profile We est End and d Broadway per rformances – oh h, and Strictly Comme Dancing
What do Robert Louis Stevvenson, Malcolm McClaren and thhe husband of TV chef Fanny Craddocck have in common? Yes, they’ve all been played by Mark Gatiss. The comeddian/actor/ screenwriter/author first hitt our screens
in the terrifying comedy TheT League of Gentleman. Since then he’s brought his own special brand of ghoulish whimsy to TV, film, theatre and radio including roles in Game of
Thrones and Wolf Hall;
series such as A History of Horror; and a string of theatre credits. Phew! Oh and, ahem, did we mention that he’s one of the creative geniuses behind Doctor Who